1. Xavier McKinney, safety, Alabama Crimson Tide
If Gross-Matos was a mild surprise to drop into the second round, then Xavier McKinney‘s fall is an outright shock. Pre-draft, Giants fans who wanted the team to draft Isaiah Simmons raved about his versatility. McKinney is far from Simmons as a player, but his versatility in the defensive backfield is something that Big Blue can take advantage of.
At Alabama last year, he played “centerfield” as a free safety, came into the box, against the run, as a strong safety/ linebacker, and covered wide receivers as a slot corner. Not only did he play those positions, but he played them all very well. Nick Saban doesn’t accept mediocrity, if McKinney couldn’t do the job in any of those roles, Bama’s coach had plenty of options on the bench to replace him.
Especially impressive was his ability to handle receivers man-on-man in the slot. It’s a rare trait among safeties. McKinney lacks some of the “wow factor” of both Winfield and Delpit. Instead of the boom (which he is capable of bringing), McKinney will make smart decisions that put his team in positions to succeed, whether it be against the pass or run.
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"Attacks the football in the air with great confidence, particularly when driving forward on it. Generally a good tackler. Love his short area burst both linear and lateral. Plays with great urgency and I love how often he gets through traffic to finish. Contact balance and hitting power are good. He can mirror and match steps in man coverage and make plays on the football. – Joe Marino, The Draft Network"
The Giants should find a way to trade into the back end of the second round (without trading down to do it). They could draft their future center at that point. Both Lloyd Cushenberry III of LSU and Tyler Biadasz will go in the mid-to-late second round. Either one of them should become a full-time starter by 2021.
Who do you think the New York Giants should draft with the fourth pick in round two? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.